It is often believed that beauty is the deciding factor when it comes to favors by bosses. However, beauty has an ugly side attached to it and is a hurdle for some women who are looking for jobs that are considered as ‘masculine’ by society.
According to a study conducted by the University of Colorado’s Denver Business School, attractive women are often discriminated against when applying for jobs considered as ‘masculine’, and for which physical appearance is not seen as important for the job.
In the study, the researchers gave recruiters a list of jobs and photos of applicants and told them to sort them according to their suitability for the job. There were a total of 55 men and 55 women candidates.
In job categories like director of security, hardware salesperson, prison guard and tow truck driver, attractive women were overlooked. In each of these jobs, appearance was perceived to be unimportant.
Attractive women tended to be sorted into positions like receptionist or secretary.
‘One could argue that, under certain conditions, physical appearance may be a legitimate basis for hiring,’ said lead researcher Stefanie Johnson, assistant professor of management at the school.
‘In jobs involving face-to-face client contact, such as sales, more physically attractive applicants could conceivably perform better than those who are less attractive. However, it is important that physical attractiveness is weighed equally for men and women to avoid discrimination against women.’
‘In these professions, being attractive was highly detrimental to women,’ she said.
The study was published in the latest issue of the journal of Social Psychology.